Grey metal fences for human traffic control

I came across this article in my fb feed and thought it made an interesting point. Fences in cities are designed to keep humans and cars separate, giving cars the ownership of the road and right of way, while pedestrians are limited to sidewalks often not more than five feet wide.

This is quite regularly reduced to two feet or three if renovations are taking place, bamboo stakes appear as obstacles to avoid and limit wheelchair and stroller access. Some contractors renovating ground floor shops brazenly invade the sidewalk with plywood partitions to create the facade and forcing everyone to squeeze.

Is this an offence? The invasion of a public right of way? Even a temporary one? Surely it ought to be, on par with illegally parked vehicles.

Other uses of grey metal fences aside from political campaign propaganda include the following…(seen in Wan Chai)

Hanging planters (nice gesture, please maintain)

Leaning bamboo scaffolding. Well, these fences are certainly sturdy enough for that.

Locking and abandoning a bike. For this purpose, it’s perfect.

The author is right. It doesn’t protect the pedestrians from accidents. It’s certainly not for leaning against for a conversation, it’s to stop pedestrians from taking the shortest route possible to the other side.

Compare this to Johnston road where you can cross the tram tracks freely. It just has so much more of a community feel. Too bad DVRC isn’t considering Wan Chai yet.